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Privacy on List Items – Out-of-the-box support

Posted by Jean Paul on March 8, 2013

In this article I would like to use a SharePoint Out of the Box Solution for a common problem. The problem is associated with a survey list where:

1. Items can be created by any user

2. But editing / deleting should be possible by the item created user

Example: A survey list for employee feedback

What is Out of the Box?

This is a term used to denote in-built features of SharePoint. Out-of-the-box solutions are preferred & encouraged as it is easier to perform in the short run & easier to manage in the long.

Possible Solutions

We can quickly jump into solutions like creating an Event Handler and on the Item Updated event we can ensure the user & cancel the event. But the drawback is that it requires code development, installation & maintenance.

Instead we can go for the Out-of-the-box solution – Modifying List Advanced Settings.

Create the List

To execute this please perform the following activities:

1. Create a List named My List from template Contacts.

2. Create a user named user1 and add to List Permissions, assign Contribute level

3. Create a user named user2 and add to List Permissions, assign Contribute level

4. Login as user1 and create a contact named User 1 Contact

5. Login as user12 and create a contact named User 2 Contact


Now the list looks like below:



Please use separate browsers with different session instance for users: Administrator, User1 & User2

Modify Advanced Settings

Now we can modify the List Advanced Settings. Open the list in Administrator mode & choose List Settings > Advanced Settings.


From the appearing page select the following options.


Click the OK button to save changes. Now you can see that:

User 1 can only view his own item:


User 2 can only view his own item:


Administrator can view both items:



Please note that the Permission Levels determine the visibility.

1. Administrator is given Full Control permission level

2. User 1, User 2 are given Contribute permission level



In this article we have seen a possible scenario of List Item Permissions. SharePoint consists of various options & out-of-the-box solutions we need to be aware with.

This solution is apt for Survey Scenarios, where multiple users are required to provide their feedback, but they should not see other’s feedbacks.

Please note that SharePoint 2010 also have a Survey list template.

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